I left for Dublin, Ireland not knowing a whole lot about the country. I had my own perceptions and of course I thought of the green scenery and St. Patrick's day but not much else.
I had been abroad before but did not document my experience as well as I should have. In the fall of 2015, I studied abroad in England. Once I returned to the U.S. in December, I spent christmas break figuring out and researching ways to leave again. It was compelling.
I knew I was graduating in the Spring of 2016 so I was concerned about the chances of me going abroad again. I thought participating in an internship program would be a good idea but because I would no longer be a dues paying affiliate to my University, I thought the options available to me would be very limited. Instead of giving up, I researched programs on my own and when the logistics of them became intimidating, I booked an appointment with a study abroad advisor.
I presented her with the programs I was interested in and where. I wanted to go back to England (London specifically). We discovered how expensive and short the programs were and I decided to opt out of it all. My advisor then presented me with the idea of going to Ireland.
In my mind I wasn't at all very excited for the location. At the same time I knew it was important for me to travel again and to seize and utilize the resources I have as a student. I also felt pressure to have something waiting for me after graduation. After all, it seemed like everyone had a plan.
I didn't leave abroad just to make it look like I was doing something with my life. It was a number of things that made me intrigued and maybe even addicted to something I genuinely enjoyed. It only took traveling once to pursue it again. This time around my paper work was unbelievably easy. My plane ticket over there and back was sponsored. I also kept running into friends and peers who mentioned they'd be visiting Ireland this summer too. It was like it was meant to happen. How could I not be excited and grateful to go now. Everything lined up for me.
Having the company of friends I've known for years made for many unforgettable days and nights. At some points it felt like my childhood came along with me and nothing in my life ever changed. I started to feel like this place had become a home to me. After six weeks of being there, going back and forth to work, I felt fearless and all knowing. I was comfortable.
One of my favorite things about Ireland was the history I learned everyday. As I had mentioned before, I went there not knowing anything. In a lot of ways I am glad I didn't research much prior to my visit. Instead I was there in person to learn and hear about it all.
For how small the Island is the amount of places to go seemed endless. I was always being shown or told about this and that summit. There's still cities I wish I had gone to and things I wish I had done. I also thought I needed to be an outdoor adventurer to enjoy Ireland but it's landscapes were impressive and friendly to anyone. All you need is a jacket!